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Synopsis

How to accommodate diverse religious practices and laws within a secular framework is one of the most pressing and controversial problems facing contemporary European public order. In this provocative contribution to the subject, Lorenzo Zucca argues that traditional models of secularism, focusing on the relationship of state and church, are out-dated and that only by embracing a new picture of what secularism means can Europe move forward in the public reconciliation of its religious diversity. The book develops a new model of secularism suitable for Europe as a whole. The new model of secularism is concerned with the way in which modern secular states deal with the presence of diversity in the society. This new conception of secularism is more suited to the European Union whose overall aim is to promote a stable, peaceful and unified economic and political space starting from a wide range of different national experiences and perspectives. The new conception of secularism is also more suited for the Council of Europe at large, and in particular the European Court of Human Rights which faces growing demands for the recognition of freedom of religion in European states. The new model does not defend secularism as an ideological position, but aims to present secularism as our common constitutional tradition as well as the basis for our common constitutional future.

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